When goaltender Pheonix Copley was injured in game four of the Atlantic Divison Finals Friday night in Providence, both Bears players and fans alike held their breath. Copley had been stellar in the first two games on the road in the series, but now the Chocolate and White turn to Vitek Vanecek as Copley will miss game five due to his injury.

Vanecek, who has not allowed a goal in his last 104 minutes played, will get the nod on Sunday. The 21-year-old netminder faced nine shots after replacing Copley with only 42 seconds remaining in the second period.

Hershey feels like there is a lot of room for improvement as they know a win in game five would give them two chances to win the series back at home. “Puck management was a huge problem last night,” said Troy Mann Saturday. “As a consequence, we did not spend enough time in O-zone play. We gotta find a way to generate more offense.”

The Bears only got 11 shots on net off in game four, with no more than five in one period. But that was not due to a lack of time played on the attack. Hershey had many moments in the Bruins zone where they would keep possession for an extended period of time, but shots would either go wide or the team would not get a shot off at all.

There was also struggles to get into Providence’s end multiple times during the game. “For some reason, that second and third pass was the problem,” said Mann. “We were able to get out of [our] zone very well, but that neutral zone play at both bluelines were huge issues, and consequently they were coming right back down our throat.”

Also of note, Jakub Vrana and Tom Gilbert both participated in an optional skate Saturday. They will be evaluated and possibly cleared for play after the skate.

Game five is Sunday at 3 PM in Providence.

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